Slack Spec 2019
We just got back from the annual Slack developer conference in San Francisco. As many of you know, Eletype heads up the Atlanta Chapter of the Slack Platform Community and Spec is the annual get together of the rapidly growing Slack developer community.
I’m taking over for Mike this week on blog and email responsibilities to recap the week at Spec and announce details for our local version of Spec: Tiny Spec Atlanta.
First, what is Spec exactly? Spec is the place to see new Slack platform functionality and demos first, advance your Slack development expertise, connect with a global community of Slack customers, partners and developers, and most importantly to give and get advice from the Slack platform team.
Speaking of the Slack platform team… big shout out to Elizabeth Kinsey for managing the Slack Platform Community! Thanks for managing, supporting and growing this community!
Slack Platform Updates
So what is new in the Slack platform? Here is a big one we love: Slack App Home Tab. The Home tab is a persistent, yet dynamic interface for apps that lives within the App Home. Finally a static place for configurations, settings, and updates. This feature is currently in beta, but we are already designing our home tab features. This one is huge for any Slack app that is standalone (like Eletype).
Modals are also a big update that expand on Dialogs boxes. Whereas Dialog boxes were really justy simple forms, a Modal, built using Block Kit, can be used for more dynamic display, data input and workflows.
As the Slack app ecosystem grows, there is a growing need for software developers that understand this new medium. Slack is now offering Slack Certifications for Slack Admins and Slack Developers. We are in the process of going through the developer certification process because we want this cool badge:
The conference spanned two full days, so what did we like the best? Spec had a lot of hands-on workshops that really helped attendees dive right into both “core” concepts (e.g. functional testing) and new features (e.g. App Home). Here were our two favorite sessions:
“Functional Testing for Slack Apps”
This session featured a shoutout to our very own Matt Ledom and the excellent blog post he did last year about testing in Slack apps. Elijah Sattler walked through his best practices for testing Slack apps using Puppeteer. Want to learn more? You can try it out yourself! The following GitHub repo was used for the workshop and the README.md files will walk you through the changes we did. https://github.com/ESattler/Functional-Testing-Slack-Bots.
Want to read Matts blog? Check it out here.
“Drive Adoption and Engagement with Outstanding Onboarding”
If you’ve been reading our blog you know we’ve spent a ton of time on refining the onboarding process. We are thrilled to see App Home rolling out in beta. This session covered everything about new App Home feature. We learned how to listen for the app_home_opened event and update the app home content for your app.
The workshop used this Glitch: https://glitch.com/edit/#!/truth-drip. README.md will guide you through setting your app and getting tokens. This workshop also introduced Slack’s Bolt framework for rapidly developing Slack apps using NodeJS.
Tiny Spec Atlanta 2019
We are going to go through all of this and more on November 12th at ATDC at 6pm.
The evening will kick-off with check-in, light snacks, drinks, and a bit of time to get settled. We’ll watch the recording of the Spec day 1 product keynote together and do a quick walkthrough of Workflow Builder, which we’ll use to gather feedback to share with the Slack platform team.
After the Workflow Builder demo, we’ll break into small discussion groups to talk about what we saw: things we’re excited for, questions we have about new functionality, and suggestions for the roadmap. We’ll use Workflow Builder to send our feedback into a channel with the Platform team.
Then it’s time to hang out for a bit! Get to know your fellow community members, talk more about your take on the keynote, or make a new friend.
I can’t wait to see the Atlanta Slack Community in a couple weeks!
In the meantime, please reach out with questions about the latest and greatest in the Slack Developer Community.